Why not the Netherlands instead of Spain?

Apr 2019
109
Ireland
#11
The Dutch had a relatively stable government, other than the instance leading to the formation of Belgium in the 1830's there was little if anything troubling at home. Since the mid to late 18th century the Dutch were not involved in any major wars or 'saber-rattling'. Holland's empire was considerably smaller in comparison to other European powers and after 1815 didn't engage in the carving up of Africa or Asia. For the USA or Germany to swallow up Dutch colonial territory would be a policy that could lead them towards losing friends.
As for Spain, although well past it's peak of power, it was in many way's the opposite of the Dutch example of stability and during the 19th century and early 20th centuries had much internal troubles and changing of regimes right up to the acquisition of power by Franco. It had been very active in the Western hemisphere trying to hold on to it's empire engaging in attempting to quash revolts for independence. For the Americans I could see why they would be more interested in reducing Spain's colonial empire instead of the Dutch. For the Germans I don't see any reason for them to swallow up either, unless by taking advantage in a time of war.
 

Willempie

Ad Honorem
Jul 2015
5,212
Netherlands
#12
Apart from the fact that we are the cool guys, there wasn't really anything of value for the US. Some small islands in the Carribean and Surinam. Not really the jackpot. Apart from that the US government wasn't really into colonial adventures. They were so not in that mindset that when they won the war with Spain they didn't know what to do with the territories.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,498
Spain
#13
Well, we probably never know what happened to Maine that night ...accidental explosion or sabotage .... and if it was a sabotage who? Yankees? Spaniards? Mambises? Maybe the three in a joint-operation?
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,498
Spain
#14
Apart from the fact that we are the cool guys, there wasn't really anything of value for the US. Some small islands in the Carribean and Surinam. Not really the jackpot. Apart from that the US government wasn't really into colonial adventures. They were so not in that mindset that when they won the war with Spain they didn't know what to do with the territories.
The most racist Empire on History... never can bee the "cool guys"....as easy as to ask for Dutch in South Africa or in Indonesia....
 
Jan 2010
4,439
Atlanta, Georgia USA
#17
The US-Spanish war of 1898 is the result of the war of Secession.Since 1865,black men were free and had the right to receive a correct salary.The directors of the US societies whose benefits falled continually, could not accept the international control of the market of sugar by the spanish state,and decided to ask the government to provok a new war after the victory of Spain in the war of the ten years (1868-1878).With the comedy of the Maine-the spanish artillery men were sleeping-USA invented a pretext to declare the war…..and to create their imperialism,and to dominate the international market of sugar.
Do you have a source—beside yourself—for this view of the genesis of the war?
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,487
San Antonio, Tx
#18
The most racist Empire on History... never can bee the "cool guys"....as easy as to ask for Dutch in South Africa or in Indonesia....
WW2 was a real watershed for colonialism. It was the Big Bang heard around the world, except that there was a world war going on at almost the same time. I was thinking the other day to the large numbers of Indian soldiers who fought for the British Empire in North Africa against the Germans and Italians. Although they may not have been fully aware of it then, it was sort of the Last Hurrah for British India. Except for Slim and Burma notwithstanding, the Empire was on life support. Still, the Indian soldiers gave a good accounting of themselves and fought bravely for the British in North Africa.

I have a few relatives and family that were sugar planters in the Dutch East Indies and the contrast between the British experience in India and the Dutch experience in what became Indonesia is troubling. Of course, at the time Holland was occupied by the Nazis and its Queen and family spent much of the war in London and in Canada, so the Dutch in Indonesia were very vulnerable. And, they had the oil that the Japanese desperately wanted and needed since their American supply had dried up.

The KNIL (the Dutch colonial army in Indonesia) was not that big - only about 70,000 in all, far smaller than the invading Japanese forces. The Dutch, Australian, British and American naval forces were badly outmatched, couldn’t communicate well with each other and were soon on the bottom of the Java Sea. Here’s the thing: the native Indonesian population apparently loathed the Dutch colonizers well before the Japanese arrived, so that when they did arrive, they did not rally to their colonial masters. This was a big difference with the British experience in India where Ghandi counseled his followers not to throw in their lot with the Japanese. They did not.

After the war, the Dutch returned to Indonesia but their bolt had been well and truly shot and it was only about 5 years before the Dutch decided to throw in the towel and call it quits.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,575
#19
Just like the Portugese the Dutch in the 19th c. were closely aligned with Britain – treaties of 1814 and 1824. "Anglo-Dutch Shell", the oil company founded in 1907, was Anglo-Dutch for a reason. In relation to size economy the Netherlands is probably still the UK's closest trading partner bar maybe Ireland.
 
Aug 2018
62
America
#20
Part of the justification for taking Spain's colonies was that they were run inefficiently and underdeveloped. This wasn't true in the case of the Netherlands, who had more prosperous colonies than Germany.
America didn't really want the Dutch empire (although they were probably interested in the Caribbean territories). America mainly took the Philippines since they went to war with spain and as a stepping stone to China. The rest of Europe didn't really care about Spain but an attack on the Dutch could be seen as an attack on developed Europe's (i.e. Britain, France, Germany) colonies.
The only way Germany could get the Netherlands to sell them the east indies would be by threat of invasion, which wouldn't have gone over well with Britain and France. Germany also eventually planned to bring the dutch into an economic and political alliance, which wouldn't work if they started threatening them.
I mean, Indonesia under the Dutch had as much poverty and famine as India under the British. Even right-wing liberal economists agree that Indonesia was dirt poor before Suharto's neoliberal policies in the 1980s, and even today, Indonesia is still considered kind of the backwater among the "dragon and tiger" economies, perhaps even more than Thailand.

Also, the Dutch empire *was* indeed wrested. By the end of the 19th century, the Dutch had lost Malacca, Deshima (even if only a port, it was still quite important), South Africa, Dutch West Africa and Guyana, mostly to the British though Deshima can be said to have been lost initially to the US. The British takeover of the Dutch empire even led to not one but two major wars in South Africa (the Boer Wars) which while not exactly against the Dutch Empire per se, were still against Dutch settler colonists who opposed British rule. Reasons why this British takeover of the Dutch Empire is not as publicised is because the British wanted to give an appearance of a historic Anglo-Dutch cooperation and friendship, because the British Empire eventually fell and because the American-Spanish War was the war that confirmed the United States' status as a great power (rather than just a very big state that merely defeated primitive Native Americans and Polynesians and backwards Mexicans).

Also, another reason is that Holland's empire was wrested away during the Napoleonic Wars, which are still popularly taught from the Europocentric point of view disregarding the colonies. Britain took advantage of Holland's weakness, and used French aggression as an excuse, to take over Holland's colonies claiming that it was "defending" them. After the defeat of Napoleon, Britain agreed to leave Indonesia to the Dutch as a sign of good will and alliance between both, which is why the British never fought to take over Indonesia, while at the same time, Indonesia was under British protection, which also defended it against the United States. Spain had no such defence, therefore the US went after Spain instead.
 

Similar History Discussions